It started in Portland, Ore. — where else would a yoga practitioner think to let bleating barnyard animals become part of their exercise routine? — but now it’s hit the Treasure Valley: goat yoga.
For Balance Family Fitness owner Emily Nielsen, it was an obvious addition to her home yoga studio.
“So many people started sending me the link and the video saying, ‘Look, you do yoga and you have goats. You should totally do this,’” Nielsen said.
And so, with a bit of a tongue-in-cheek attitude, she listed a goat yoga class at her Boise practice. It sold out immediately.
“Then I put out a couple more classes, and those sold out in a day. So I was like, alright, I guess we’re on to something here,” she said.
Nielsen’s four goats — Spices, Patches, Kaykay and Captain — are fully grown pygmy goats about the size of a small border collie. While some goat yoga practitioners post photos and video of tiny baby goats jumping on yogis, Nielsen said her critters keep all four hooves on the ground.
“If they jumped on your back, they would break your back,” she said with a laugh.
Of course, a huge draw of the class is being able to snap a selfie with the goats. (There’s even a hashtag, #boisegoatyoga, that’s got some decent traffic on Instagram.) Nielsen sets aside time at the end of each session for goat photography, and attendees also get to snag some farm-fresh eggs from the family’s chickens.
There are those who say naaaah to the novelty classes, but Nielsen said it’s all in good fun, so long as the goats and yogis continue to enjoy themselves.